FairBnB

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= "a movement that seeks to encourage vacation rentals that comply with the principles of a fair, non-extractive and collaborative economy".

URL = https://fairbnb.coop/

Started in Amsterdam


Definition

"What if, in the world of short-term accommodation rentals, guests, hosts and neighbours could collectively decide together with municipalities how to make the rental process fairer, more sustainable and more rewarding for the whole community?

What if the platform’s profits were not an end in themselves but were invested back into the communities where the platform operates?

These are some of the questions that led us, a group of activists, coders, researchers and creatives from around the world, to connect with the goal of co-creating a viable market-based solution that could be a valid alternative to commercial platforms.

We are working on a vacation rental platform which offers three advantages over existing sites: transparency, co-ownership and added value for the neighborhoods.

The platform will be owned and managed by a cooperative of users and neighbours who will collectively decide how to reinvest part of the profits in local projects that would help to ease the impact of tourism, protect residency and fight gentrification.

These neighbours will also collaborate with hosts and guests to ensure a meaningful and community-driven experience for visitors." (https://social.fairbnb.coop/)

Description

1.

"We believe that any sharing economy platforms need to be transparent and accountable in order to be advantageous to citizens and the city. For this reason, we want to work towards a “FairBnB”.

FairBnB is a movement that seeks to encourage vacation rentals that comply with the principles of a fair, non-extractive and collaborative economy.

Some of the key questions are: How could these activities be managed to be beneficial to local initiatives and be kept from extracting values only for investors and speculators? How could they be managed so that visitors are encouraged to stay in those areas where they are not a disturbance, but beneficial to the neighbourhood?" (http://waag.org/en/event/fairbnb-building-sustainable-short-stay-rental-platform)


2. Danielle Batist:

"When I read this personal account written by a "reluctant Airbnb host" in Los Angeles in the Guardian yesterday, I was reminded of a Dutch initiative I came across the other day: Fairbnb. They are a community of activists, coders, researchers and designers who want to put the “share” back into the sharing economy. “We want to offer a community-centred alternative that prioritises people over profit and facilitates authentic, sustainable and intimate travel experiences”, they say in their manifesto.

Like Los Angeles, Amsterdam is one of many cities plagued by the "Airbnb effect". This visualisation shows just how Airbnb - and mostly commercially let places - exploded in the city. More and more initiatives pop up to try and showcase the problems, like Insideairbnb.com, a site that scrapes data from Airbnb to show how much of the listings are actually owned by property developers rather than individuals renting out their spare rooms.

Like many, I love the principle idea behind Airbnb and I have had great experiences staying with people I'd otherwise never have met. But that is no longer the full story of Airbnb: beyond the "win-win" situations it created, there are now people - and communities - losing out too. Yesterday’s article highlights the need for push back once again." (Piqer, August 2017)

Characteristics

Sito Veracruz (cited by interviewer MÁR MÁSSON MAACK):

"For Veracruz it’s obvious the Airbnb-model for vacation rental platforms is here to stay, that’s why it’s essential to provide a more beneficial alternative for local communities. According to Veracruz, FairBnB will be able to do that due to its three main difference from Airbnb.

“First difference is transparency and legality. We’re not just transparent, we foster transparency and we actually want to work with governments,” says Veracruz. “That’s why we’re strict on our ‘one host, one home’ policy. We also want to pay taxes at a local level and make the whole process as transparent as possible.” Before the pilot in January, Veracruz and his team will also verify that every single host is legally allowed to rent out his or her space according to local law.

“The second difference is that 50 percent of the commission will be used to fund community projects.” Prices on FairBnB should be comparable to Airbnb, but the commission will possibly be lower and its structure will be different. Only 50 percent of the commission will go to the platform’s management, while the other 50 percent will go into funding local community projects.

“We’re currently looking towards community projects that are struggling to find non-commercial spaces, which we’ve seen is a big problem in many cities,” explains Veracruz. “This includes non-profit projects such as housing for neighborhood associations, non-profit food cooperatives, or community gardens.”

FairBnB’s third difference is perhaps the biggest: “We’re also conditioned by our third main difference, that we’re a cooperative. The platform is owned by a group of people contributing to the project, salaries in the cooperative are limited, and everything about the operation is transparent, such as salaries and membership.”

At the moment, FairBnB is owned and run by a worker’s cooperative which counts eight members, including Veracruz, who are mostly based in the four pilot cities. However, the plan is to ultimately open up the cooperative to the whole community:

“Our aim is to make a bigger ‘umbrella’ and include different actors in the cooperative. That would include local nodes, neighbors, investors, and eventually the hosts themselves. The hosts would then be part of the cooperative and would be able to vote in the assembly and select people to represent them in the board of directors,” says Veracruz." (https://thenextweb.com/insider/2018/12/06/fairbnb-is-an-ethical-alternative-to-airbnb-coming-in-2019/amp/)